The old, brick city hall wasn’t a particularly attractive building, but John Brady hated to see it go, especially in favor of a parking lot.

He says he didn’t care for the architecture and doubts that the city lost a whole lot of history. But the 1996 sale of the building to Hickory Tech came after a spate of demolitions and this one rubbed Brady the wrong way, too.

It’s the issue that prompted him to run for the City Council that year, but he’s stayed for nine years because of all the people he wouldn’t have otherwise met.

That race was close — Brady earned just 64 more votes than Jeff Kagermeier, who recently resigned the mayoral spot for which Brady is running.

The two were friends, and Brady knew that Kagermeier wasn’t going to run again when his term ended on Dec. 31. But Brady wasn’t ready for the early November announcement that forced him to step up his plans.

He decided that being mayor would give him more chances to practice his favorite part of the job — interacting with residents, especially ones who disagree with him.

“The mayor’s big job is to be a spokesperson for the city,” Brady said. “A good spokesman needs to understand and reconcile different viewpoints.”

A council member, he said, doesn’t have that leadership role.

These are communication skills that Brady relies on in his medical careers as well.

He’s a part-time nurse at Horizon Homes, helping mentally ill patients make a transition to the community.

Brady also works at his chiropractic practice of 22 years.

“I love health care,” he says. “It’s very rewarding.”

He chose that career after “escaping” from the small, southwestern Minnesota community of Fulda.

But first he would join the Army to escape the draft and a trip to Vietnam. Recruiters promised a deployment to Germany, but Brady was sent to Vietnam in Army intelligence, taking and interpreting aerial photographs.

Looking back, he says he’d prefer not to have spent his transitional, teenage years fighting a war.

After returning home, he earned a nursing degree from Minnesota State University in 1976. He left nursing by training to be a chiropractor a few years later because the medical community was ignoring prevention and nutrition.

Brady stayed with his chiropractic practice, but he had to re-activate his nursing license to work at Horizon Homes.

He says some people believe that his jobs, council duties and other responsibilities have “fragmented” his life.

But he disagrees.

“They’re all aspects that work together.”

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